Dr Lovleen Tina Joshi
Address:Room 2.46, Lab 1.11
Congratulations to Dr Lovleen Tina Joshi, one of the Da Vinci Innovation Award Winners 2014, hosted by the Cardiff School of Engineering.
PhD RESEARCH (October 2008 - June 2012)
Clostridium difficile is the primary cause of hospital acquired infection globally. In the US it contributes to 14 000 deaths/year, costing ~$1 billion annually (CDC, USA), while in the UK between 2006-2011 it was responsible for 29 425 deaths, (Office for National Statistics) costing £500 million/year.
At present, there are no rapid (<5 minute) point-of-care tests capable of determining if a patient is infected with the pathogen. The ability to rapidly detect the presence of C. difficile prior to the development of symptoms would enable healthcare professionals to tailor their treatment regimens accordingly to each patient, preventing infection and disease transmission. As part of my PhD at Cardiff University, I developed a bench top, microwave based system capable of detecting Clostridium difficile in a sample of patient faeces in less than 60 seconds. This was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Chris Geddes at the Institute of Fluorescence, University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA, where I utilised a novel technology called Microwave Accelerated Metal Enhanced Fluorescence to detect target DNA from C. difficile. The technology allowed exploitation of the potential of microwaves (in a conventional microwave oven) to break open the bacteria, and I also utilised patented DNA sequences identified during my PhD research (Cardiff University patent) to detect the presence of the pathogen.
Toxins A and B of C. difficile in genome
Further to this I also developed a strong interest in the insect Manduca sexta, and in collaboration with Dr. Nicholas Waterfield (University of Bath/ Warwick University) I developed a novel invertebrate model system for C. difficile during my PhD.
My other research interests included investigating the effects of bile salts on the germination of Clostridium difficile spores and variations between strains. Indeed I have also examined the ability of varying spores of C. difficile to adhere to organic and inorganic surfaces, and clinically relevant surfaces.
Current research (July 2012- present)
My current research is an extension of the research I undertook at PhD. In collaboration with Cardiff School of Engineering, I (based at Cardiff School of Pharmacy) am in the process of developing an improved point-of-care rapid diagnostic device and assay capable of detecting DNA of pathogens such as C. difficile and Bacillus anthracis in patient-derived samples within 5 minutes without need for prior purfication. The key element of this approach is the application of novel, high efficiency and high precision microwaves developed by Engineering which can allow easy liberation of bacterial DNA required for the assay. The assay can deliver a precise result within 5 minutes and we aim to deliver a commercially viable prototype device to market.
C. difficile spores (027 Ribotype)
I also have continued my research in the insect Manduca sexta, still in collaboration with University of Bath and Warwick. I am also looking at the antimicrobial activity of the insects against several pathogenic bacteria and bioterrorism agents. Further I still conduct research into the biology of C. difficile spores and their response to biocides and various different bile salts.
- Society for Applied Microbiology Presidents fund travel grant (£700) to attend ClostPath 2013 in Queensland Australia. (October 2013)
- Co- applicant for EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award with Dr. Jonny Lees, Prof Les Baillie and Prof. Adrian Porch. £48,000. (June 2013)
- Society for Applied Microbiology “Students into work grant” applied for undergraduate (£2400). (June 2013)
- Cardiff University- Travel to study in Baltimore, USA at the Institute of Fluorescence to undertake work relating to PhD. (March 2011)
- Society for Applied Microbiology Presidents fund travel grant (£1000) to attend International Clostridium difficile symposium, Slovenia. (September 2010)
- Marie Curie Actions grant (£1000) to attend ClostPath Rome (September 2009)
- (2013) A screening method for the detection of Clostridium difficile (Co-Inventors: Lovleen Tina Joshi & Les Baillie. Cardiff University) (University College Cardiff Consultants Limited GB1207998.4).